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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10322.
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Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement

Board on International Comparative Studies in Education

Andrew C. Porter and Adam Gamoran, Editors

Board on Testing and Assessment

Center for Education

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, DC

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10322.
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NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20418

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by Grant No. REC-9815157 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation, which includes funds from the National Center for Education Statistics of the U.S. Department of Education. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Methodological advances in cross-national surveys of educational achievement / Board on International Comparative Studies in Education ;

Andrew C. Porter and Adam Gamoran, editors.

p. cm.

“Board on Testing and Assessment, Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council.”

Papers and discussions from a public symposium held by the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education (BICSE) of the National Research Council in November 2000.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 0-309-08333-8 (pbk.)

1. Education—Research—Methodology—Congresses. 2. Academic achievement—Congresses. 3. Comparative education—Congresses. I. Porter, Andrew C. II. Gamoran, Adam, 1957- III. National Research Council (U.S.). Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. IV. National Research Council (U.S.). Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Board on Testing and Assessment. V. National Research Council (U.S.). Center for Education.

LB1028 .M419 2002

370'.7’2—dc21

2002002602

Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2002). Methodological advances in cross-national surveys of educational achievement. Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. A.C. Porter and A. Gamoran, Editors. Board on Testing and Assessment, Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Additional copies of this report are available from
National Academy Press,
2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu/.

Printed in the United States of America

Copyright 2002 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10322.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

National Academy of Sciences

National Academy of Engineering

Institute of Medicine

National Research Council

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10322.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10322.
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BOARD ON INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE STUDIES IN EDUCATION 2002

EMERSON J. ELLIOTT (Chair),

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, Washington, DC

LYNN W. PAINE (Vice Chair),

Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University

DAVID C. BERLINER,

College of Education, Arizona State University

CLEA FERNANDEZ,

Columbia University Teachers College

ADAM GAMORAN,

Departments of Sociology and Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison

LARRY V. HEDGES,

Departments of Education, Psychology, and Sociology, The University of Chicago

HENRY W. HEIKKINEN,

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley

G. THOMAS HOULIHAN (Ex Officio),

Council of Chief State School Officers, Washington, DC

JEREMY KILPATRICK,

Department of Mathematics Education, University of Georgia

SHARON LEWIS,

Council of the Great City Schools, Washington, DC

JANET WARD SCHOFIELD,

Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh

JOSEPH TOBIN,

College of Education, Arizona State University

COLETTE CHABBOTT, Director

MONICA ULEWICZ, Program Officer

JANE PHILLIPS,Senior Project Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10322.
×

BOARD ON TESTING AND ASSESSMENT 2002

EVA L. BAKER (Chair),

The Center for the Study of Evaluation, University of California, Los Angeles

LORRAINE MCDONNELL (Vice Chair),

Departments of Political Science and Education, University of California, Santa Barbara

LAURESS L. WISE (Vice Chair),

Human Resources Research Organization, Alexandria, VA

CHRISTOPHER F. EDLEY, JR.,

Harvard Law School

EMERSON J. ELLIOTT,

Independent Consultant, Arlington, VA

MILTON D. HAKEL,

Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University

ROBERT M. HAUSER,

Institute for Research on Poverty, Center for Demography, University of Wisconsin, Madison

PAUL W. HOLLAND,

Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ

DANIEL M. KORETZ,

RAND Corporation, Arlington, VA

EDWARD P. LAZEAR,

Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

RICHARD J. LIGHT,

Graduate School of Education and John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

ROBERT J. MISLEVY,

Department of Measurement and Statistics, University of Maryland

JAMES W. PELLEGRINO,

University of Illinois, Chicago

LORETTA A. SHEPARD,

School of Education, University of Colorado, Boulder

CATHERINE E. SNOW,

Graduate School of Education, Harvard University

WILLIAM T. TRENT,

Department of Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

GUADALUPE M. VALDES,

School of Education, Stanford University

KENNETH I. WOLPIN,

Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania

PASQUALE J. DEVITO, Director

LISA D. ALSTON, Administrative Associate

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10322.
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Reviewers

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council (NRC). The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report:

Stephen P. Heyneman, Vanderbilt University

Susan Holloway, University of California, Berkeley

Neville Postlethwaite, Hamburg University, Germany (retired)

Laura H. Salganik, American Institutes for Research

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Judith Torney-Purta, University of Maryland. Appointed by the NRC, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10322.
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Preface

In November 2000, the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education (BICSE) of the National Research Council held a public symposium titled “Methodological Advances in Large-Scale Cross-National Education Surveys” (see Appendix A for the symposium agenda and list of participants). The purpose was to draw on the wealth of experience gathered over a four-decade period, to evaluate improvement in the methodology, and to identify the most pressing methodological issues that remain to be solved. The papers prepared for that symposium and the discussions of those papers make up this volume. Collectively, they represent the most up-to-date and comprehensive assessment of methodological strengths and weaknesses of international comparative studies of student achievement.

BICSE has a long and distinguished history of monitoring the quality of large-scale international studies of student achievement; this was the primary purpose for which it was originally established. In the late 1980s, in response to growing public interest in using international comparisons to inform U.S. education reform, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) sought assistance from the National Academy of Sciences. BICSE’s two principal objectives were (1) to help improve the quality of international comparative studies in education generally, and (2) to aid U.S. policy makers in ensuring the high quality of the data collected by the United States for those studies. During its first nine years, BICSE served in an oversight role regarding U.S. participation in international education studies—guiding and en-

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10322.
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hancing the collection, interpretation, and use of international education data that can inform policy making.

In 1998, BICSE was reconfigured to take on an expanded agenda, seeking to provide the locus for conceptual leadership in the field of international education studies and comparative analyses of education systems. Keeping its original charge, BICSE sought to become more proactive, conducting syntheses of comparative work, documenting lessons learned from previous work, and documenting advances in the methodology of comparative surveys (the purpose of this volume). The reconfiguration of BICSE was endorsed enthusiastically by its sponsors, NSF and NCES. In November 1999, BICSE held a workshop on the uses of video in international education studies as its first public initiative under its expanded agenda. The November 2000 symposium on methodological advances in large-scale cross-national education surveys represented BICSE’s second initiative.

Although we had the privilege of leading BICSE’s assessment of methodological advances, this volume represents an accomplishment of the entire board. We are fortunate to work with wise and dedicated colleagues on BICSE who contributed to the project at each step of the way—from its initial conception, to selecting symposium participants, to providing feedback to authors on multiple drafts of the papers contained in this volume (see Appendix B for contributing members’ biographical sketches). In addition to current and recent BICSE members, former member John Dossey played a leadership role at an earlier stage of this project. We are also indebted to BICSE’s superb staff, including former director Patricia Morison, current director Colette Chabbott, and staff members Monica Ulewicz and Jane Phillips, for their help in moving this project forward. We also thank Laura Penny for her editorial advice, and Kirsten Sampson Snyder and Yvonne Wise for their guidance of the report through the review and production process. We appreciate the support of Larry Suter of NSF and Eugene Owen of NCES, which came not only in the form of funding their agencies provided to BICSE, but also as helpful insights on this project.

Andrew C. Porter and Adam Gamoran, Editors

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2002. Methodological Advances in Cross-National Surveys of Educational Achievement. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10322.
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In November 2000, the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education (BICSE) held a symposium to draw on the wealth of experience gathered over a four--decade period, to evaluate improvement in the quality of the methodologies used in international studies, and to identify the most pressing methodological issues that remain to be solved. Since 1960, the United States has participated in 15 large--scale cross--national education surveys. The most assessed subjects have been science and mathematics through reading comprehension, geography, nonverbal reasoning, literature, French, English as a foreign language, civic education, history, computers in education, primary education, and second--language acquisition. The papers prepared for this symposium and discussions of those papers make up the volume, representing the most up--to--date and comprehensive assessment of methodological strengths and weaknesses of international comparative studies of student achievement. These papers answer the following questions: (1) What is the methodological quality of the most recent international surveys of student achievement? How authoritative are the results? (2) Has the methodological quality of international achievement studies improved over the past 40 years? and (3) What are promising opportunities for future improvement?

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